Amanda McInnis

Christian community, professors and advisors prepped pharmacist for profession

#myJourney -- Pharmacy school isn’t easy. But Amanda McInnis managed to complete all four years at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and now works as a pharmacist for Target in Greenville, South Carolina, where she floats to other store locations. McInnis says she owes much of her success to her time at Anderson University.

The Sumter, South Carolina, native received a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship from the state of South Carolina when she was 18 and later a full-tuition academic scholarship from Anderson. Besides the scholarship, another big factor that drew her to AU was its Christian identity.

“That was a big bonus to me,” she says. “I wasn’t aware there were schools like that out there.”

McInnis also liked that AU was a smaller school with fellow students who were serious about their Christian faith.

Said McInnis: “Being 18 and going out into the world and moving away from home, it provided a real good environment with fellow Christians who are supportive and are the right influences in your life, as opposed to a major university where you have more ability to go down the wrong path.”

Close-knit community helped McInnis focus on faith, studies

McInnis says she cherished chapel and Bible studies, where she made good friends. It was a close-knit environment, “not just with students,” she said, “but [with] professors, and [workers in the] bookstore, and financial aid; it seemed everyone wanted to help, felt like they really cared.”

Anderson’s size and close community also impacted McInnis’ classroom experience, she said.

“I think the biggest thing was how [subjects were] taught, the small classes—being able to learn in a more close-knit environment.” McInnis majored in biology and described her professors as “amazing.”

“They were always available and always very helpful,” she says. As a pharmacist, she finds all her classes were helpful to her job, especially organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology.

After two years, McInnis decided to apply to pharmacy school. She says AU fully prepared her for pharmacy school. To get admitted, students must take the PCAT—similar to the MCAT— have a high GPA, go through interviews, and write essays. She managed to get it all done, and aced her interviews.

“I think a lot of the help I got from the interviews came just from being able to talk to my [AU] professors and advisors,” she says.

Academic rigor prepared McInnis for pharmacy school

AU did more than help her qualify for pharmacy school—it helped her succeed.

“It helped me not just get into pharmacy school but survive pharmacy school,” she said. “The academic level and support you get [at AU] helped prepare me for the type of classes I was going to have at pharmacy school.”

McInnis looks back on her time at Anderson University fondly: a tight, Christian community of helpful peers, professors, and staff that helped her go far in her field.